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Designer WebCT FAQ's
Course Content
I've made some changes to course documents in WebCT, but the changes don't appear. Updating/reloading the page does not solve the problem.
I've updated the HTML on my pages and notes, but the changes are not reflected for my students. Why?

Can I edit or create HTML files from within my WebCT course?
How can I see a student's view of the course?
How do I upload more than one file at a time to the WebCT server?
Can I put PDF files in my course?
My document has the wrong title listed in my Content Module's Table of Contents. How do I change it?
How can I prepare course content in advance but only release it beginning the week I cover that material?
When I "Save as HTML" in MS Word, it messes up my formatting.
I tried uploading a file, but WebCT keeps giving me an error message.
How do I put my course materials into my WebCT course?
How should course content files be named?
How do I create a course backup?

Q. I've made some changes to course documents in WebCT, but the changes don't appear. Updating/reloading the page does not solve the problem.

Sometimes, a browser's cache can cause strange behavior. For best results, set your browser preferences to verify documents every time, to make sure that you're getting current information. This is a good idea for any Web browser looking at interactive material like WebCT. You can also check for the proper browser settings for working with WebCT at the following URL <http://webct.com/exchange/viewpage?name=exchange_browser_tuneup#settings>

Macintosh:

  • Netscape: Edit > Preferences > Advanced > Cache > click on "Every Time" radio button
  • Explorer: Edit > Preferences > Advanced > click on "Always" radio button

Windows:

  • Netscape: Edit > Preferences > Advanced (click on the "+" sign to open) > Cache > click on "Every Time" radio button
  • Explorer: Tools > Internet Options > Settings (located under Temporary Internet Files) >click on "Every Visit" radio button

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Q. I've updated the HTML on my pages and notes in my Content Module, but the changes are not reflected for my students. Why?

When working with content in a Content Module tool, you need to update the student view for your students to see any changes you have made.

From within your Content Module click the radio button for Designer Options. On the right is a screen, click on the hyperlink for Update Student View.

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Q. Can I edit or create HTML files from within my WebCT course?

Yes, by using Netscape Communicator which has Netscape Composer, a free HTML editor. Netscape Composer behaves like a word processor, allowing you to create, save and edit html pages directly from within your Manage Files area.

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 Q. How can I see a student's view of the course?

Currently you can add a URL link to a page that opens your WebCT course for a single "dummy" student account. This is typically already added when you request a Designer account, but sometimes accidentally deleted.

NOTE: this process will change with the implementation of the UH Banner System (part of the Student Information System Project Management) tentatively slotted for Fall 2003. With this new registration system instructors will no longer have the capability to add ANY students, it will be an auto enroll upon official registration.

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Q. How do I upload more than one file at a time to the WebCT server?

There area a couple ways in which you can upload more than one file at a time, using either a zip compression program or WebDAV.

ZIP Compression Applications: You can use the zip/unzip feature of WebCT. You first generate a zip archive containing all of the files you want to upload, and then upload that zip file to your WebCT account. Once the zip file has been uploaded, use the unzip function in the File Manager to extract the files from the zip archive.

For both Macintosh and Windows, drag and drop all files onto Zip icon. This will produce a somefilename.zip icon on your local computer.

WebDAV: WebDAV allows you to drag and drop multiple files to and from your WebCT Manage Files area. WebDAV is a set of extensions to the HTTP protocol that allows users to collaboratively edit and manage files on remote Web servers. You will need to have software that understands how to use WebDAV. If using Microsoft Windows 98 or have Office 2000 installed, you have all that is needed in the form of "Web Folders".

Macintosh users will need to download and install a freeware application called "Goliath" to take advantage of WebDAV. The URL, drag and drop directions are the same as described above for "Web Folders".

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Q. Can I put PDF files in my course?

Yes, although WebCT does not have any special features to accommodate PDF files. You will need to upload it into your Manage Files area and link to it by using the Add Page or Tool feature, then choose to add a "Single Page" and browse and pick the pdf file.

Students will need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in order to view the PDF file. They can download this free reader from the Adobe site at <http://www.adobe.com/acrobat/readstep.html>

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Q. My document has the wrong title listed in my Content Module's Table of Contents. How do I change it?

There are a couple of approaches you could take, you can either edit the file in the Manage Files area, or select to Edit titles from within the Content Module itself (make sure you are in Designer Options view and choose to update student view when done).

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Q. How can I prepare course content in advance but only release it beginning the week I cover that material?

Create your course materials, upload them to the WebCT, attach a link to the .html files, and then use the selective release settings.

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Q. When I "Save as HTML" in MS Word, it messes up my formatting.

This does become a factor when saving in the HTML format, here are some suggestions which may help:

  • Avoid any specialized formatting (HTML does not support it, although you can use tables, having the cells represent spaces)
  • Save as HTML, then edit Word's formatting mistakes and re-save the page
  • Use Netscape Composer, load the Word page you have saved as HTML, fix, re-save

Netscape Composer is a simple HTML editor and works much like a word processor. Composer comes with Netscape Communicator and can be downloaded for either Macintosh or Windows:

  • Windows: http://www.hawaii.edu/help/software/pcsoft.html
  • Macintosh: http://www.hawaii.edu/help/software/macsoft.html

Once installed, go to File in the main menu, then select to Open Page in Composer and browse for you HTML Word file.

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Q. I tried uploading a file, but WebCT keeps giving me an error message.

File names should not have a space in them, use the _underscore to represent them, or any grammatical syntax such as %, &, *, #.

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Q. How do I put my course materials into my WebCT course?

You will need to upload the files to your WebCT account using either a zip compression program or WebDAV for Windows and MAC.

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Q. How should course content files be named?

All files containing textual course content must be in HTML, web page format. The filename must:

  • end with characters .html or .htm
  • should have no blanks in the name. You can use the underscore _ symbol to crate the visual impression of a blank space
  • be as short if possible
  • be consistent with how you capitalize letters in filenames. Any mixture of upper and lower case letters is acceptable as long as you are consistent. The filename "start.html" is not the same as the file named "Start.html".

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Q. How do I create a course backup?

Course backups are created by using the Create Course Backup function.

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Maintained by:
Linda Mcconnell
Copyright © 1997 University of Hawaii
Last Reviewed: 02/14/03